later an international sensation, after it was picked up by abc one year later. ♪ ♪ come on baby, let's do the twist ♪ >> reporter: in spite of racial attitudes at the time, clark was a pioneer in promoting african-american artists, including percy sledge, the silhouettes, the supremes and gladys night and the pips. an appearance on "american bandstand" could launch their careers. and from jerry lee lewis to janet jackson, they all wanted dick clark to give their record a spin. and from jerry lee louis to >> if you look at the history of "american bandstand" it covers everything. when we started in 1952, it was very como and eddie fisher and the four aces and so forth, through the rock 'n' roll period, country music, rhythm and blues, rap music, heavy metal, it is everything. >> reporter: but music wasn't his only beat, clark proved a prolific businessman and television icon.